See our upcoming event schedule for details on the next group ride!
Please visit our Google Group for extra ride information & community discussion.
The Group Ride is all about the camraderie, the talk between fellow cyclists while riding two abreast, the banter at the rest stops, helping new cyclists learn how to ride safely and improve their skill level while having fun. The following sums up our position on the group ride…
Before the internet, before custom bikes and before titanium and carbon fiber, learning to ride was an apprenticeship. The goal was to become a member of the peloton, not merely a guy who is sort of fast on a bike. Membership was the point, not to be the local champ. You were invited to attend a group ride only if you showed interest and a willingness to learn. You were uninvited if you did not. You learned skills directly from the leader, as well as other experienced cyclists on the ride, who took an interest in riding next to you on your first rides (and not just next to his friends). Here is some of what you learn on a true group ride:
To ride for months each year in the small chainring.
To start with a humble bike, probably used.
To pull the paceline without surging.
To run rotating pace line drills and flick others through.
To ride through the top of a climb.
To hold your line in a corner.
To stand up smoothly and not throw your bike back.
To give the person ahead of you on a climb a little more room to stand up.
To respect the yellow line rule.
To point out significant road problems.
To brake less, especially in a pace line.
To follow the wheel in front and not overlap.
The ride leader and his lieutentants were serious about their roles, because the safety of the group depended on you, the weakest link. If you did not follow the rules, you were chastised harshly. If you did, you became a member of something spectacular. The Peloton….Many thanks to Peter Wilborn, author and bike lawyer.
SATURDAY INTRODUCTORY ROAD RIDE: 10:00 AM
The Bike Rack also offers a Saturday Introductory Ride to compliment our Sunday ride. This ride meets at the shop at 10:00 am on Saturday and departs by 10:15. Our goal in creating this ride is to have a well rounded selection of rides for everyone in the community. The Saturday ride is strictly an introductory ride and it caters to anyone who prefers a slower pace (12 to 15 mph avg) and a shorter distance (25 to 30 miles) than our intermediate ride. The ride is also perfect for anyone new to group riding and wants to gain some experience before jumping into an intermediate group ride. This ride is led by experienced cyclists. Check out the route here
SUNDAY INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED ROAD RIDE: 8:30 AM
Our Sunday Intermediate Ride is a 40-mile, moderately paced ride (16 to 18 mph avg) that emphasizes group riding techniques. This is a pure GROUP road ride and we try to maintain and sustain the group throughout the 40 mile course. If the group is too large we will split it up into smaller groups at the start for safety reasons. It is recommended that you have a road bike, a flat kit and hydration. It is manadatory that your bike is in good working condition and you wear a helmet. It is also mandatory that you have group riding experience with an organized group ride. If you do not have past experience, we ask that you start with our Saturday Beginner’s Ride to get the feel of an organized group ride and to develop your group riding skills.
For those who want something a bit more aggressive, our Sunday Advanced Ride is a longer (60+) and more intense ride. The advanced ride splits off the intermediate ride at about mile 20. Eligibility for this ride requires that you demonstrate above average bike handling skills and the ability to hold an 18 to 20 mph average. We meet at the shop at 8:30 and the ride departs by 8:45. We will cancel the ride when the roads are not safe to ride. Consider joining our discussion group for news and updates on our rides. Come out and join us, we look forward to seeing you! Check out the 40 mile or 60 mile route.
Rules of the Road for Group Rides.
Important things to know for any group ride:
- Make sure your bike is in good working condition (it has been recently tuned up)
- Helmets are mandatory
- Bring a water bottle or two
- Carry a spare tube in the event of a flat
- Have fun.
A Testimonial From a Member of the Sunday Group Ride:
To all the Lurkers out there who don’t think they can ride with the BikeRackDC Sunday group -
I represent one of the older (and fatter) riders, who each week think the young and VERY thin (bordering Hollywood bulimic imho) riders are going to leave the stragglers in the dust. The fact is, almost ANY regular rider in the area would enjoy a BikeRackDC ride on Sunday’s. Especially if you like friendly people to ride with.
The first part of the ride is an easy pace through the district and if you can find yourself in the middle of the pack going down MacArthur road, you darn near don’t have to peddle with the amount of draft in front and behind you. If you look at your speed, you won’t believe how easy it feels to go 20-21 mph. As one fellow rider said last week, it’s the same feeling as going 15 on your own.
Yes, it’s true… your ego will be slightly bruised going up the big hill as the racers fly up and your lungs are wondering how they can function with 3% of their usual oxygen levels, but by the time you get to the designated rest stop in Potomac, nobody but you will give a crap that you arrived a few minutes after they did. And I can personally guarantee you won’t be the last to arrive.
There are a few rollers on the second half of the ride that will test you, especially when the gang who didn’t go for the long ride decide to do a sprint or two. But they wait up at a couple of spots for the
less svelte riders to regroup. (Thanks Seth!) And when you hit the park, with about thirty minutes to go, the pace backs off a hair and your burning quads will have no problem getting you through to the
Yes, you’ll definitely feel a bit tired, but you’ll also feel a great sense of accomplishment that you rode with the big dogs. So if you haven’t given it a shot, I highly recommend you give the BikeRackDC a
Shameless plug here: I had a problem I couldn’t fix on my bike and Wayne suggested I bring in the bike to the shop this week. The guys (Thanks Kevin) not only took care of the problem, but did so as I waited and charged very little for the quick repair. Such a great thing to have a shop in the district that’s disguised as a shop you’d find in a small town in Anywhere, USA!
Hope to see some of you lurkers out there in the coming Sundays.